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Music News & Reviews and Song of the Week

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music-reviews-tapeThe Wonderlands: Sunlight – Jon Foreman

This is the first of four “hourly” EPs from Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman, each featuring with six songs. Lyrically rich and musically diverse, the style will remind you of his four “seasonal” EPs (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) from 2007-2008 or his music with Family Fiction, more so than it will his Switchfoot output. The songs feature acoustic guitars, strings and layered vocals. There will be one song for each hour of the day and each song is produced by someone different. Foreman has stated that the album has been ten years in the making, as he worked on the songs between stops on tour and between tours. The songs didn’t fit on any of his other projects (Switchfoot, Family Fiction or solo). The project was inspired by a moment in which potential chaos inspired a beautiful moment. Foreman has stated that with a project that is specifically geared toward light and darkness, many of the songs are going to be quite dark.

Here are a few brief thoughts about each of the songs:

“Terminal” – The most musically complex songs on the set. It is produced by Tyler Strickland. Foreman sings that we are fatally flawed in the image of God.

“The Mountain” – Produced by Anton Patzner, the song features acoustic guitar and strings. Foreman sings “I believe you (God) could move this mountain of mine”.

“You Don’t Know How Beautiful You Are” – Produced by Neal Avron. Foreman sings that “We’re the kids who’ve seen the darkness, always looking for light”. Where they are headed is a world apart from where they started. This is a very lyrically rich song. Was originally included in the album for the film To Write Love On Her Arms earlier this year.

“Caroline” – The first single from the project, it’s my favorite song. The opening line is “Caroline, the middle finger queen of the never mind.” It features a harmonica and is produced by Keith Tutt. In the chorus Foreman wonders out loud where Caroline’s heart is today.

“Patron Saint of Rock and Roll” – Produced by Aaron Roche, this song exposes some common counterfeit gods and Foreman sings that Christ alone can save his soul.Sunlight by Jon Foreman

“All of God’s Children” – This is a song that dates back to Switchfoot’s Vice Verses writing sessions. It is a simple song featuring acoustic guitar and strings, as Foreman sings about believing in a world that is beyond him, a world he hasn’t seen. It is produced by Dan Brigham, Jeremy Lutito and Jason Morant.

The Wonderlands: Sunlight has me looking forward to the next EP, which is The Wonderlands: Shadows, due to be released July 17.


musicnewsUnbroken Praise. The new album from Matt Redman – Unbroken Praise, recorded live in the Abbey Road Studios in London is now available for pre-order. The album will be released June 16. With the pre-order on iTunes you receive “It is Well with My Soul”. Watch this video of the acoustic version of the song from Abbey Road.

  • Sky Spills Over. Watch the new music video of “Sky Spills Over” from Michael W. Smith’s excellent album Sovereign.  

Song of the Week

This week’s song is my favorite hymn, “How Great Thou Art”. The lyrics were written by Swedish pastor Carl Boberg in 1885. In the early 1920’s English missionary Stuart K. Hine wrote the English words and his own arrangement of the original Swedish melody.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

Sing along with Christian country music singer Wynonna Judd as she lifts up praises to our Lord in the Basilica di San Patronio in Venice Italy.


  • The church finds its true identity only in reference to Jesus and never to itself. Matt Maher
  • If our prayers or songs of worship talk to the Father with a greater degree of familiarity than Jesus did, then we’re being over-familiar. Matt Redman

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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